Chicago’s dry summer of 1988

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Dear Tom,
I remember a period of drought in Chicago during the summer of 1988, ending on the day of the Cubs’ first night game on Aug. 8. Is my memory serving me correctly?
— Beth Oppenheim, Spring Grove
Dear Beth,
It is, but drought conditions did not end on Aug. 8. They persisted into autumn. Precipitation data from Midway Airport shows that from Jan. 1 through Aug. 8, 16.7 inches of precipitation fell, the 10th-driest at that station in the period from 1929 through 2017. However, it was the fourth-driest from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, with 19.58 inches. The driest was 1934 with 15.52 inches.
Far above-normal temperatures also accompanied the 1988 drought. The period May 1 through Sept. 30 was the warmest ever at Midway Airport with 72.9 degrees (versus the normal of 69.3).

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